The essence of a good judge is the ability to hear the facts of the case and then render a judgment accordingly. The law expects objectivity from its judges. The fundamental meaning of the word prejudice is to pre-judge without reference to the facts. What we have seen since the dark days of the Nixon Administration is the absolute commitment to ideological purity in the selection of federal judges. Brett Kavanaugh is yet another in a series of ideological judges appointed to the federal bench and frankly it's GOT to stop!
The whole point of having a court system in the first place is to create a forum in which individual citizens can come to redress their grievances within the law. The sole justification for having a court system in the first pace is to have a place where citizens can obtain justice. Every individual who comes before the bar of justice ought to be able to expect to be treated fairly and equally. Unfortunately, this assurance is rapidly going by the boards. Facts. Evidence. Objectivity. These concepts are fast becoming passe. What our political leaders now expect from nominees to the bench is a slavish devotion to a particular philosophy of government. The end result has been the politicalization of the law. Instead of listening to the arguments from BOTH sides and then rendering judgment what we're getting today is approaching each case from an ideological point of view and then attempting to justify such judicial prejudice by poring over arcane cases that buttress an ideological view of the law.
Judge Kavanaugh isn't unique in this regard. As I have previously noted about politics in general, the essence of our political culture today can be summarized in one word, retaliation. The selection of federal judges and especially the selection of Supreme Court justices is now an exercise in ideological purity. A Republican President now chooses a rigid, right-wing ideologue to the Supreme Court. Fine! Say the Democrats. When WE get the chance to appoint federal judges, we'll search for someone who is even more rigidly left wing, thus balancing out the ideological battle field on the Court. So, instead of having nine objective judges on the Court attempting to dispense justice, we now have warring political factions, bound and determined to shove their ideological prejudices onto the American body politic. Thus we have a Supreme Court with nine justices but no justice!
I'm sure Judge Kavanaugh is a fine fellow as a human being; a loving husband, devoted father, steady church goer and a thoughtful and generous donor to the poor. Why I bet he even recycles his garbage just to show he takes his stewardship over planet Earth seriously. But the one thing Judge Kavanaugh does not see himself as is an objective dispenser of the law. He will align himself with the rigidly conservative bloc on the Court whose sole purpose is to shape the law in their right-wing ideological image.
The danger presented in this view of the law is that ultimately it erodes truth and objectivity for anyone who doesn't view the law from a strictly conservative point of view. In time, these individuals will no longer see our court system as the place where they can redress their grievances. They will come to doubt that the courts are even capable of rendering a just and objective decision. And what will angry people do when faced with a court system they see as being rigged against them? Their attitude will be to say why bother with the courts. The question then will be what's the alternative. Chaos? Rioting in the streets? The breakdown of law and order? Judge Kavanaugh isn't the disease, he's merely the symptom. But in this case we must remove the symptom before we can cure the disease.
Filed under: Politics